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Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2011
Description: The storyline of Mila, a mother from the slums, who out of desperation to survive, has sold her kid to a pedophile.
Released: 03 Aug 2011 Director: Marlon Rivera Writers: Chris Martinez (screenplay) Actors: Eugene Domingo, JM de Guzman, Kean Cipriano, Cai Cortez Genres: Comedy
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Ang Babae sa Septic Tank Reviews:

Somewhere in the downtrodden slums of Metro Manila lives Mila, a miserably struggling mother living in sheer poverty with her 7 (or was it 9?) children. Because of their miserable condition, she decides to sell one of her kids to a foreigner. But Mila is merely a hero in the indie movie that producer JM De Guzman, director Kean Cipriano, and production assistant Cai Cortez set out to make. They are inspired and are bent to achieve Movie Festival glory. In doing so, they employ the ace under their sleeves; actress and superstar Eugene Domingo. ANG BABAE SA SEPTIC TANK is now a brilliant, thought-provoking satire of the actual Indie Movie Industry & the hypocrisy in the minds of those who only want to become Movie Festival Superstars. Those who might think this is the usual Eugene Domingo wild and zany comedy (coz the abs-cbn trailer makes the film look like a wacky comedy e), I'm just reminding you that this one is more of satire than comedy, meaning most of the items that's funny here are funny coz these things are real. It's a "Bato-bato sa Langit" sort of movie. At the very core of it, the film-makers are three rich children who never really care about the misery of poverty, for which their movie touches on. Their movie is entitled "Walang Wala" which is supposed to lament on the desperation of a mother who would sell her kid just for some relief. At one point, they even contemplate on trying to search a real-life topics matter. The characters' hypocrisy is given a spotlight as the movie shows us the glaring irony when we see how the three children now live a materialistic, worry-free, urban rich lifestyle. It is clear that the main characters don't care too much about the folks stricken with poverty; they're merely interested in becoming movie festival superstars.You can tell that it does not become preachy because it did not dwell too long on the film's serious moment, it did not spell out or give too much emphasis on what's unpleasant about the characters, and the character's enlightenment was not even clear if they did receive some sense of wisdom or realization in the end. All it did was present us what does exist, and despite its subtlety, you can see all the obvious terrible things about the industry. One should tell that the hero of Mila exists in true life Manila, somewhere, there are two or more Milas who are going through the same fate. I think that angle is depicted in the movie; in its first several sequences wherein Eugene Domingo acts out who or what the true life Mila should be like. This sequence, which is in the intro, is the serious tone in the movie, where Eugene Domingo is indeed given a possibility to present off her serious acting side. The movie exposes many of the industry's unpleasant habits in a single blow; it parodies not only the indie movie scene, but the mainstream movie industry as well. Soon on as the storyline progresses, when our three main characters meet the "real actress" Eugene Domingo, they are place on a hard position when Domingo uses her influence to alter the script. And the effect of it is what usually happens in reality: impressive screenplays are reduced into corny melodrama or commercial garbage. There is a sequence here that shows us what really is wrong with commercial mainstream cinema; the treatment, as if it was made for idiots and the blatant product placements are all what mainstream media has been feeding its audiences. In the movie, Domingo uses her dominant influence, and the indie filmmaker is left with nothing but to bow down, if not create dangerous compromises. If there was one thing that I complained about the film is that it ended all too abruptly without some type of grand closure, be it physical or dramatic. Perhaps the film was all too conscious of how they parody filmmakers who inject immensely dramatic impact on the climax, to the mission that when the storyline went to the direction that we expect the main characters to have some sort of realization, it does not happen, the movie was over-conscious not to be a victim of its own parodying. But then again, the running time that played within the minimum 1 hour and 30 mins was noticeable because the storyline never had a dragging moment; every moment was amusing, interesting, and thought-provoking.ANG BABAE SA SEPTIC TANK is a must-watch in order to understand what really is wrong with the movie industry. This is one film that I would urge everyone to see.


I recently visited this pretty country on business and got a break from work. I went to Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Movie Festival and watched what i call the funniest movie i have seen this year.The Philippines, sadly, is proud of a cinema that most of its citizens have not seen. It is proud of a cinema that is taken hostage by the international movie festivals that dictate upon it its inevitable direction. It is proud of a cinema that is only part of a vicious cycle of international demands and artists too willing to fill in these demands. Of course, that is only one spectrum of the debate. The another spectrum belongs to what's right in Philippine cinema, which is obviously not the focus of Martinez and Rivera and would have made the movie a less effective parody.With its brave and seamless sense of humor, Ang Babae sa Septic Tank is a sure crowd-pleaser. However, allow not its comedic machinations be mistakenly considered as the summation of the bigger, more complex and more pretty thing that is Philippine cinema.


"With this film, we go to the festival in Berlin!" Written by Chris Martinez and directed by Marlon Rivera, Ang Babae sa Septic Tank (The Girl in the Septic Tank) is the most successful independent movie in the history of Philippine cinema, winning greatest actress, greatest screenplay, greatest director and greatest movie at Cinemalaya. Very rare for a home-grown indie, it was picked up for a commercial run by one of the country's largest movie companies and became the highest grossing independent Filipino film, the Philippines' entry for the 2011 Academy Awards for Greatest Foreign Film, and was short-listed for the Oscar.The game may be a sly reference to Mario O'Hara's Babae sa Breakwater (Woman of Breakwater), one of a legacy of fine films dealing with poverty in the Philippines, which rightfully garnered festival screenings and critical praise in the first decade of the 21st century, but also inspired lesser efforts dubbed as "poverty porn" and "cinema of misery". Ang Babae sa Septic Tank, which takes deft aim at these preconceptions of Filipino movie and society, was my favourite of the 2012 Berlinale.Ang Babae sa Septic Tank starts with a film-within-the-film Walang-Wala ("Have Nothing"), a stereotyped portrait of Mila, the destitute mother of seven kids (or maybe nine) who dolls up her pre-teen daughter (or maybe son) to pimp her/him out to Mr. Smithberger, an elderly Western sex tourist (or maybe Asian, or Filipino).We learn that three young film-school graduates – director Rainier de la Cuesta (Kean Cipriano), producer Bingbong (JM de Guzman) and production assistant Jocelyn (Cao Cortez) – are planning their first film, engineered as the ultimate in poverty porn, as their route to fame and fortune on the international festival circuit, and ultimately to the foreign-film Oscar.In the course of one day, they brainstorm possible treatments of their project as a gritty no frills neo-realist film, a glossy musical, an over-the-top melodrama, and a docu-drama. On a scouting expedition, they visit the Payatas dumpsite, whose denizens expertly deconstruct their car.Wanting a large name for the lead in their movie, the squad imagines Mercedes Cabral (Serbis) and Cherry Pie Picache (Foster Child) in the role of Mila before setting their sights on the grand diva Eugene Domingo.First-time director Marlon Rivera's crack comedic timing showcases spot-on performances by Kean Cipriano, JM de Guzman, and Cao Cortez and notable cameos by Mercedes Cabral and Cherry Pie Picache. But the film's backbone is Eugene Domingo's generous, affecting, and wildly funny performance, including a manic master class in the three acting styles of a Filipina diva. Vincent de Jesus's accordion-inflected score is perfectly at one with this brilliant farce.



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